31 Days of Hallowe’en 2022, Day 25: When I Consume You [2021]


I’m always wary about movies that deal with mental health issues, especially horror movies. Because, unfortunately, they write themselves into a corner and then cop out by having the main character sacrifice themselves to eliminate the anthropomorphised mental illness – i.e., killing themselves. As someone who has struggles with OCD, anxiety and depression, this is a thoroughly irresponsible message to keep pushing and does a disservice to the stories these films could be telling.

That said, I can’t say either way which route this film takes without spoiling it, but I can say that the journey to get there mostly errs on the side of respect when it comes to things like drug abuse, alcoholism, antidepressant use and general mental health, but I do think that the slightly shallow non-side-taking it does do is too sofly-softly for a story whose emotional hook rests on such delicate, bittersweet and realistic subject matter. Which is a shame.

Anyway, the film When I Consume You, written, directed and photographed by Perry Blackshear, follows a pair of siblings (Libby Ewing and Evan Dumouchel) who work together to fight the sister’s stalker. A fairly simple plot, and it does feel at times that the proceedings just amble from scene to scene in a very one-note way, which actually makes the pace drag a bit despite its brisk 80-odd-minute runtime.

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